In a time when things feel tenuous, uncertain, and confusing, it can be difficult to know how to get feelings under control. This reminds me of the words of Thich Nat Hahn: “Relax, nothing is in your control.” Being a student and practitioner of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, I appreciate the fact that we can simultaneously feel two disparate emotions and they can both be correct—because feelings are never wrong.

At this moment, it is possible to be both completely aware of the vast and ever shifting reality of pain in our world that can at times feel too big to fathom, while also understanding that each of us has the power to contribute. How we respond in difficult times is, in fact, the only thing we ever have control over. This is the equanimity to which we all strive as healers and those engaged in healing. Individually, it can feel insignificant; but when each of us stands-up, joins hands, and contributes what we are able (no matter the amount), we are admitting that we still feel hopeful, and hope is the most valuable human resource.

A few members from the Pulse Wellness team reflect on what this means to us individually:

“Jewish children grow up learning ‘Never Forget.’  The understanding of this often chooses our path for us.  If we can never forget the atrocities that humanity has endured at the hands of repressive regimes then we must do something.  The doing has often seemed impossible.  What can one person do, give or say???  When we freeze because oppression is too hard or we believe that we are speck that has no way of helping we play into the hands of the oppressor.  But we do have ways to help and the biggest can be witnessing.  Allow someone to see you, see them.  Let your witnessing be a salve to someone else’s pain.  I started Pulse so that people can feel served, helped, connected even when the world overwhelms us.”

Rosanne Marmor, Founder of Pulse Wellness

“We frequently hear to look for the helpers, and sometimes that means we have to look in the mirror and do the next thing. Taking turns helping and being helped, noticing and being noticed. I am privileged to get to be the helper now, and in other times. I cannot change the world, but I can bring a little lightness and hope to my corner. If we each brighten our corners, the world can feel a little brighter for a little while.” 

Rebekah Lubeck

“I grew up reading books about WW2. Being a very impressionable child, I couldn’t help it but feel frustration with the lack of support that the characters in the book were getting. And feel fear learning about atrocities of the war that was fought decades before I was born. Now seeing it all play out before my eyes, I know that while I can’t change the mind of the aggressor, I actually have power to support people and ease their suffering. Hearing from friends on the ground I know that every dollar counts and every word of encouragement helps people keep their hope. And in uncertain times, hope is the only thing that keeps people going. Слава Україні! Героям слава!”

Lola Ryan

We at Pulse Wellness believe in the power of hope, helping, and doing what we can with what we have, to improve lives. Each of us, in different ways, has an intimate understanding of the reality that some people and groups face more barriers than others when in need.

After listening to stories on the news of individuals of marginalized identities (LGBTQ+ and BIPOC in particular) facing discrimination when attempting to flee Ukraine, we wanted to be intentional about how we gave support to ensure that our contributions would go to organizations that help ensure those individuals have safe passage and access to necessary resources in this horrifying moment.

In this, we chose to donate as an organization to Out Right Action International. For 30 years, this organization has been fighting for the rights of LGBTIQ folx around the world through outreach, movement resourcing, and research. In just the last year, Out Right Action International has provided $1.2 million to support this work in 65 countries and since February 24, 2022, their Ukraine fund has raised over $500,000.  “100% of donations to OutRight’s Ukraine Fund go directly to local LGBTIQ partners in Ukraine and neighboring countries supporting our community during this crisis. Contributions help provide emergency assistance to LGBTIQ people who need safe shelter, food, competent medical care, transportation for those who are fleeing, and other types of humanitarian support.”   

We have also chosen to contribute to World Central Kitchen, an organization that since 2010 has been responding to humanitarian crises all over the world with a single mission: to feed the hungry and restore hope through food and community. This culturally sensitive organization utilizes local resources and global connection to engage in quick, efficient, and most importantly, dignified responses in times of tragedy and despair. Since the beginning of the attack on Ukraine, WCK has provided more than 1 million meals in Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Hungary – in addition to their continued missions around the world.

We chose to support these organizations because they work everyday to provide safe, dignified, respectful supports with a focus on harnessing the power of local communities and doing their work outside of the colonizer’s lens that is so frequently centered in aid organizations. We are grateful to be able to support this work now and in the future.

I will leave you with one of my favorite pieces of wisdom from my Jewish education:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Pirkei Avot